Extended hours have been granted to those in the trucking industry. Since the outbreak began in the US, the trucking industry has had to make extreme adjustments to the workforce. In order for drivers to deliver essential products to cities and towns across the US, many have had to work longer than the scheduled 8-hours per day.
FMCSA Gives Extended Hours For Drivers
The original plan was to have drivers working past the standard 8 hours until April 12th, that was when this whole pandemic was said to be over. As this has not been the case, many people across the country are still out of supplies like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and gloves.
With the need for essential items facing a critical demand, the FMCSA has made strides in order to give truckers the ability to drive past the 8-hour limit.
Truck drivers who are transporting essential items such as food, water, health equipment and even liquefied gases that are used for refrigerated transportation are all able to continue their routes and drive until the job is done.
Truckers Take The Hours
For many drivers, this has been a weight lifted from their shoulders. There have been many complaints about the new system not giving them enough time to make their deliveries. Back in the day, drivers would drive upwards of 14 hours to make a delivery. Since new systems have been put in place the industry has seen a major influx in driver dissatisfaction.
The industry has been overextended since before the COVID-19 pandemic. With many skilled drivers reaching retirement, the industry has had a hard time pulling in new recruits to fill the empty gaps. Drivers are currently facing a dilemma of simply not having enough of them on the road to take on the high demand for resources.
Drivers Enjoy The Long Hours
For some drivers like Graham Hinsch, the extended hours has been great.
“70 hrs on duty was the limit before you needed a 34hour reset and my company is still keeping that. Other companies and owner-operators have removed that time limit so you have many truckers working non stop and like the good old days when we weren’t told when we have to sleep or drive by an electronic system.”